Writing is a way for me to process what is happening in my studio practice, always beginning with visual language moving to verbal. This blog contains news, events, and observations. Much love,
Sitting at the Baja Cantina in the Marina del Rey, 20 somethin’, in not much more than a two-piece bathing suit and a sarong. Living up the beach life over a margarita with my two besties. Out of nowhere some random man stops at our table to say….. youth is a currency for women and to recognize the value while you’re young.
If youth has currency, then I’ve spent it.
Reevaluating my roll as wife, mother, as “woman”. A vision clouded by all I had imagined a woman should be. WIFE, who are you 17 years later, better yet, WOMAN, who have I always been?
I GAVE MYSELF TO HIM
Acrylic on canvas with audio
ECHOES: FROM THERE TO HERE
San Francisco Art Institute — Diego Rivera Gallery
800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco
Curated by: Timothy Berry and Jeremy Morgan
On View: November 11 – 24, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 14, 5 – 8 PM
It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) faculty, Timothy Berry and Jeremy Morgan present ECHOES: From There to Here.
This exhibition is reflective of SFAI’s desire to recognize the wider community of artists who have and will work both within the physicality of this unique architectural environment and with its spirit of place. The artwork included in ECHOES: From There to Here accentuates a breadth of vision and concerns, underscoring the significance of art in general and the importance of studio practice as indicative of a lifetime commitment to art and creativity. We are now witness to the artists work as gifts through action and manifestation, to the culture of society, and to the wider world. In so doing, we too are mindful of the profound importance of both creative thought and action.
It is, indeed, a thrill to have Chase’s work in the Diego Rivera Gallery. Rivera was instrumental in establishing the Mexican mural movement in Mexican art in the early 20th century, a state-sponsored movement aimed at extolling the nation’s history, culture, and post-revolutionary ideals in large scale murals for public spaces. Like Rivera, Chase creates works that engage the public. She, however, is asking us to consider the lives of women, how they are seen, and how they see themselves in their environments. Her public works activate bridge-building within communities. A recent article about her public installation I AM HERe…”I AM HERe” (is) about how women find and maintain their sense of belonging in a rural landscape. During the year-long project, Chase has worked to elicit perspectives through the use of social media, public art-making salons, a short film, and a culminating interactive public installation.
– ‘ Liz Kellar, The Union
Chase‘s work explores what it means to be a woman and the struggle to embrace her identity. “Being a woman has never felt natural to me.” Ruth creates large, intimate paintings from images women have submitted as well as selfies that her daughter has taken. Using her daughters’ selfies, she is able to capture the complexity of the mother/daughter relationship and see her self once again as the child she was, now through her eyes as the mother she is. This duality has given her insight into the role of women and how that role is changing but still vulnerable and tenuous. Her public work takes this process into the realm of the universal.
How do the women who submit their selfies experiences the world, their roles, and other women in their lives? Is there, in fact, a female experience? Moreover, if so, can we come together as a community and share its ideals, history, and culture.
SFAI’s Exhibitions and Public Programs are made possible by the generosity of donors and sponsors, including the Harker Fund of The San Francisco Foundation, Institute of Museums and Library Services, Grants for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Work Fund, Koret Foundation, Pirkle Jones Fund, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, and Fort Point Beer Company. Ongoing support is provided by the McBean Distinguished Lecture and Residency Fund, The Buck Fund, and the Visiting Artist Fund of the SFAI Endowment.
THIS FRIDAY – SATURDAY
Homelands: Restoration*Sovereignty Recognition ~ Art Reception
Friday, November 1, 6 -10 PM
Nevada City Winery: 321 Spring St, Nevada City
Inspired by the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe’s desire to collaborate with local artists. A group exhibition of art that reflects positive social change and the power of art to transform a community and bring visibility to the tribe.
Panel Discussion and Interviews with Shelly Covert and Ruth Chase
HOME at Nisenan Heritage Day
Saturday, November 2, 10-4PM Panel Discussion 11-12 PM
Sierra College: 250 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley
Made possible in part from a California Arts Council grant (Artist in Communities), HOME is a project that brought in NCAC Artist in Residence, Ruth Chase, for artist-to-artist mentoring sessions and workshops for this year’s Visibility Through Art participants. Tribal members were paired with local artists and together, art was created through these unique pairings.
To learn more about CHIRP and the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan: www.nisenan.org
PARTICIPATING TRIBE MEMBERS
Ginger Covert, Lorena Davis, Sarah Thomas, Saxon Thomas, Cassandra Johnson, Shelly Covert, Karen McCluskey, and Richard Johnson. IN SPIRIT, Dutch Rose, Carmel, Jackson Rose, Alberta “Birdie” Gallez, and Maryann Start.
Artist Statement Ruth Chase
I struggle with the notion of what a woman is. My work explores what it means to be a woman and the struggle to understand all that entails. I create large intimate paintings from images that women have submitted and from selfies that my daughter has taken. I also create public art installations and video from public engagement projects.
Motherhood opened a world within me that is both painful and empowering. Causing me to reevaluate the roles I have resisted and submitted to, and how I see myself as a woman.
Using my daughters’ selfies, I am able to capture the complexity of the mother/daughter relationship. Experiencing my daughter’s adolescence has awoken memories, causing a deep reflection on how our childhood shapes us as women, and the role vulnerability plays in our development.
Working with images that women have submitted allows me to step back and see a broader view of the female experience. I use social media as a communal aspect of my process that takes me out of the isolation of my studio and expands my understanding of women outside of my own experiences.
Women are an essential part of any community, yet their sense of belonging is often tied into gender roles, not always satisfying their sense of belonging. Mother, sister, partner, we all have women in our lives. I AM HERe is intended to mirror the voices of how men and women view women’s unique sense of belonging against the backdrop of our rural community. Lead artist Ruth Chase has sought to examine her own sense of belonging over the course of a year by asking questions through social media and taking her personal journey alongside the community. The public was invited to share their own stories about themselves or the women in their lives by participating in the public art installation.
UPCOMING EXHIBITION – ECHOES: FROM THERE TO HERE
San Francisco Art Institute — Diego Rivera Gallery
800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco
On View: Through November 24th.
Opening Reception: Thursday, NOV. 14, 2019, 5 – 8PM
It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) faculty, Timothy Berry and Jeremy Morgan, present ECHOES: From There to Here.
Women in a Rural County
Women are an essential part of any community, yet their sense of belonging is often tied into gender roles, not always satisfying their sense of belonging. Mother, sister, partner, we all have women in our lives. I AM HERe is intended to mirror the voices of how men and women view women’s unique sense of belonging against the backdrop of our rural community. Lead artist Ruth Chase has sought to examine her own sense of belonging over the course of a year by asking questions through social media and taking her personal journey alongside the community. Now, the public is invited to share their own stories about themselves or the women in their lives by participating in the public art installation.
Painted in collaboration with Elaine Love Leslie by Ruth Chase. The painting reflects her life story and the wisdom she has as a result of growing up in Venice, CA. This was the final painting in the West of Lincoln Project, completed in early 2017. Painted by Ruth Chase.
I spent the past twenty years making art under the radar. Until 2015 when I started creating installations that included paintings about positive social change.
Being invisible was a tactic I adapted from an early age to avoid drama. As I got older, I would do anything to avoid conflict. As an artist, I played it safe so I wouldn’t say the wrong thing. With time it seemed to say the wrong thing was worse than saying anything at all. It was an inner struggle, but it felt safe and secure.
BAD ART STUDENT
I needed to get out of Los Angeles. I needed to escape the broken girl that came from the streets of Venice. It was the 80’s, and I was attending the San Francisco Art Institute, totally in love with conceptual art, it was an exclusive club for smart artist people. I hoped that no one would notice how un-smart I felt compared to those savvy thinkers and prolific art makers on Chestnut Street. I wanted nothing more than to be as smart and interesting as they were. In school I would study for countless hours, only to get barely passing grades, it was so demoralizing and painful. I would drown my sorrows by marathon painting, keeping to myself. My teachers, Fred Martin, Angela Davis, Carlos Villa, and Julius Hatofsky were my heroes, my mentors, I wanted them to rescue me, to tell me how to create work that mattered. My work was a whisper against the backdrop of big ideas and loud voices.